OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Dallas County – 121 acres protected
Oak Cliff Nature Preserve is a 121-acre oasis of green space located right in the middle of urban Dallas. It was protected from impending development in 1999. In 2006, Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA) approached TLC about creating multi-use hike and bike trails on the preserve. One of TLC’s major concerns was the potential impact the trails may have on the soils, plants, and wild animals at the preserve. After showing proper care and environmental sensitivity in trail design, DORBA was given the go-ahead to begin trail development in the northwestern portion of the preserve. There are now over eight miles of multi-use hike and bike trails course through the Preserve. Bird and plant enthusiasts, bicycle riders of all ages, and those just wishing for peace and quiet visit the preserve to connect with nature. Please see DORBA’s website for more information on biking OCNP. The trails are also open for hikers/nature walkers. OCNP Trail Map
Cibolo Preserve — San Antonio
Bexar County – 52 acres protected
This 52-acre stretch of Cibolo Creek in Universal City, a suburb of San Antonio, features a great diversity of plants and animals. This public preserve features abundant bird life (Inca Dove, White-eyed vireo and masses of Cardinals), large numbers of flowering Big Bluestem and 35 to 40-foot limestone bluffs that black rock squirrels find perfect for scurrying. The preserve contains large populations of native grasses, interesting geologic features, Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye in the sheltered side canyon.
Kachina Prairie — Dallas
Ellis County – 30 acres protected
Kachina Prairie (Ellis County), contains 30 of only 1,000 acres of Blackland Prairie left in Texas. This nature preserve is protected by a partnership between TLC and the City of Ennis. Once much more extensive in east central Texas, most Blackland Prairie habitat has been converted to other land uses. While meandering through the prairie in spring or summer, listen for Western Kingbirds and Scisso-tailed Flycatchers twittering overhead. In winter, search the brambles and dense thickets for wintering sparrow such as Lincoln’s, White-throated and perhaps Harris’. In spring, the prairie comes alive with wildflowers that feed an array of attendant butterflies. Look for Pipevine and Spicebush Swallowtails, as well as Variegated and Gulf Fritillaries. This property was named “Kachina” for the Native American legend of the bluebonnet and was given to the TLC in 1985. Contact the City of Ennis for more information; 972-875-1234.
Banita Creek Preserve — East Texas
Nacogdoches County – 15 acres protected
Banita Creek Preserve is a lovely 15-acre urban preserve in downtown Nacogdoches. Walking trail run through the property and meander along Banita Creek. The preserve is located at North and Rusk streets; parking is available on Rusk. The well-known historic home of Charlotte Baker Montgomery, the donor of this nature preserve, can be seen at 1703 North Street. The house & yard are not open to the public.
Ivy’s Wildlife Refuge — East Texas
Anderson County – 465 acres protected
Ivy’s Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful natural area donated to TLC in 1987 by the late Ivy Payne. The diverse landscape of the refuge includes forested slopes and ravines, bottomland, shortleaf pine savanna, and creeks lined with dogwood trees. Every spring and fall our board member, Earl Matthew, works with Heinz Gaylord, a Texas Master Naturalist, to arrange hikes and volunteer days at Ivy’s Refuge. Please call Gloria McElroy to arrange a visit: 903-764-2605.
Winter’s Bayou Preserve — Houston
San Jacinto County – 79 acres protected
A beautiful and very unique forested area, including state champion laurel oak, Winter’s Bayou Preserve is surrounded on three sides by Winters Bayou Scenic Area owned or set aside by the U. S. Forest Service as part of the Sam Houston National Forest. Just down the road is the trailhead for Lone Star Hiking Trail, used by hikers, horsemen, lovers of the Forest. This preserve, owned by TLC, is open to the public provided persons follow the regulations set forth on the posted preserve signs.
Lou Ann Gomez Preserve — East Texas
Orange County – 48 acres protected
The Lou Ann Gomez Preserve was donated to TLC in 1988 by the late Hy Gomez, Jr. in his daughter’s memory. The preserve contains 48 acres of cypress-lined bayous and marshes in the city of West Orange. The preserve is open to the public, but damage from recent hurricanes has left the boardwalk in disrepair.
Marysee Prairie Preserve — Houston
Liberty County – 9 acres protected
The only protected remnant of native prairie in the Big Thicket area, this crossroads of coastal prairie, waving tall grasses and shorter western species, and beautiful wildflowers, contain a combination distinct from all other vegetation communities. Annual volunteer efforts to maintain and restore the prairie are coordinated by members of the Big Thicket Association and the Houston Sierra Club. Get Directions.